tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN June 19, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
another term as your president. next thursday on "the sixties". >> i say segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever. >> we're marching today to demonstrate hundreds of thousands of negro citizens of alabama denied the right to vote. >> i thought we were going to be arrested. the major said troopers advance. i thought i was going to die. ♪ stop, children, what's that sound ♪ >> "the sixties" next thursday night at 9:00 on cnn. cancer . for the first time in more than a decade, the headline tonight is chemical weapons in iraq that is the breaking news. chemical weapons. new reporting that sunni extremist fighters have taken a former chemical weapons production plant that still contains a stockpile of old
weapons, apparently. our nic robertson is working sources here. he has actually been to that plant years ago. he is going to join news a moment. jim sciutto is working the pentagon. we'll talk to all of them ahead. the news headlines also today, president obama called a key moment for iraq, a moment when he says the fate of this country hangs in the balance. one last chance for the political leadership here to get its act together and somehow keep this country together. the president made it plain what is tearing iraq apart at its core is political. that's the long-term problem he believes, and it has to be the long-term solution. but because the immediate problem is military, sunni forces rampaging while the iraqi army cuts and runs in many cases in the north, mr. obama today offered military help and american military personnel, not he says to fight, but to advise the iraqi military. shortly after laying out the plan, he got a reminder, as if any commander in chief needs one, of the consequence to send americans to danger zones, or in
this case, back into them. he presented the medal of honor to retired marine corps gunner william carpenter, jumped between a taliban grenade and his buddies in helmand province. nearly given up for dead, he spent two and a half years in the hospital. tonight what advisers and planning air strikes can do. but here is some of the key moments from president obama earlier today. >> first, we are working to secure our embassy and personnel operating inside of iraq. second, at my direction, we have significantly increased our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets so that we've got a better picture of what is taking place inside of iraq. third, the united states will continue to increase our support to iraqi security forces. american forces will not be returning to combat in iraq. but we will help iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the iraqi people, the region, and american interests as well.
fourth, in recent days we've positioned additional u.s. military assets in the region. because of our increased intelligence resources, we're developing more information about potential targets associated with isil. and going forward, we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it. finally, the united states will lead a diplomatic effort to work with iraqi leaders and the countries in the region to support stability in iraq. above all, iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for iraq's future. shia, sunni, kurds, all iraqis must have confidence that they can advance their interests and aspirations through the political process rather than through violence. meanwhile, the united states will not pursue military options that support one sect inside of
iraq at the expense of another. there is no military solution inside of iraq, certainly not one that is led by the united states. what is clear from the last decade is the need for the united states to ask hard questions before we take action abroad. particularly military action. >> that was president obama speaking earlier today. first i want to apologize for my voice earlier in the previous segment. the air is thick with dust here. anyone who has served in iraq knows what that is like. so i apologize for coughing. joining us now is nic robertson here in baghdad. jim acosta at the white house, jim sciutto also in washington, and arwa damon is in the north in erbil in kurdish controlled areas. nic, let's start with you. let's talk about this chemical plant. you have actually been there. what is it like? >> with the weapons inspectors 2002, and i was just looking back at my notes, bearing in mind that what we're hearing from state department officials now who say that the stockpiles that the isis are coming across
there are the old, degraded, have probably no chemical weapons value, could be dangerous if moved. looking back at my opening lines from when i visited there, the first impressions you have, rows of rusting chemical warfare equipment rotting in a warehouse. and the last line was this is a sight that the weapons inspectors probably won't have to come back to. it was bombed in 1991. it's a large site, 15 square miles roughly out in the desert. a lot of bunker-type warehouses, the birthplace of saddam hussein's biological weapons production. the heart of his chemical weapons production. but the impression at that time was it had been bombed in '91. weapons inspectors had been there in the mid-90s, filled a lot of the equipment with concrete. it was in a relatively unusable state. and when we went there, it was just rotting, lined up in these bunkers. so what there would be now after
again it's been cataloged post 2004, it would strike me as not a lot of use. but a grave danger to somebody who might try and tamper with it. >> jim sciutto, what are you hearing from your sources? i wonder, have any public statements been made by the state department or the pentagon about the capabilities to weapon nice whatever may be there, or to even take it somewhere else and how dangerous that would be? >> well, i think as nic hinted there, the state department not expressing great alarm. they say they are aware of this mutana complex. they have been for some time. as nic said, they don't consider the materials in there to be of military use. while of course their concern of any military site that might be taken over by isis. here is a statement they had many particular if we can put that up on screen. i'll read it for you. we're aware that the isil has occupied the al muthanna complex. we're concerned about the seizure of any site by the isil.
we do not believe that the complex contains materials of military value. not expressing great alarm while it's just a sign as these forces move through iraq, they can come across military sites and weapons when they have that kind of scope. >> the other question i had when i read that statement, though, how concerned would a terror group be about safely moving the material. i'm not sure they would mind just moving it, even if it's not all that safe to do. so but we'll have to wait and see. jim acosta, you were at the white house today when the president was speaking. you pressed him about the possibility of mission creep. president obama saying 300 advisers. he said noncombat forces, probably green berets, navy s.e.a.l.s, rangers are going to be going to baghdad and in the north. what did he say about mission creep? >> anderson, it was another example of why president obama is a cautious commander in chief. he is really caught in a jam here. he said american combat troops are not going to be fighting in
iraq again. but he also said it's in the national security interests of the u.s. to make sure iraq does not become a safe haven for terrorists. so that's why he is keeping options open for airstrikes. but by the way, those options for air strikes could take place in iraq or syria. senior administration officials are not ruling that out. and at the same time, while this is a cautious move to only send in military advisers, anderson, senior administration officials were explaining earlier today that they're going to be going in, these advisers and teams of 12 or so when they go out with iraqi forces to advise them and consult with them. that does potentially open them up to some danger. and that is why senior administration officials were saying today that these advisers have been granted immunity, unlike the situation that occurred between the u.s. and iraq back in 2011. and that if they need to, they can fire back in self-defense, anderson. >> arwa damon, as you know, the shia-led government of nuri al
maliki had wanted air strikes by the united states to help militarily on the battlefield. i'm wondering what the response up north was to the president's comments today and the idea of sending in these advisers. >> well, the kurds have been viewing what has been happening naturally with a lot of caution, but also as something of an opportunity for them. we've seen the kurdish fighting force here move very quickly to ensure that they stake out the territory that they want to see firmly remain under their control. and speaking to some of the kurdish leadership about the potential for u.s. air strikes, some of them were cautioning that the americans would have to be very careful in terms of who exactly are they hitting because isis at this stage not fighting alone. it does have the sunni insurgents, your former sunni insurgent groups fighting alongside of it. it has the support of the tribal leaders. you don't want to further aggravate the sectarian divide seen here by simply striking at the sunnis. that being said, there is the realization that isis is going
to be capitalizing on this situation, growing in strength and wealth and military capabilities as all this goes on. so they do need to be hit at this stage before they get even stronger. but it's going to be an incredibly delicate situation, anderson. >> and nic, clearly, the u.s. interested in trying to -- arwa was talking about other sunni groups who are -- whether it's allegiance of convenience right now, but who are aligned with isis or fighting with them. clearly the u.s. would like to peel off some of these sunni groups, particularly the groups they worked with before in the so-called sunni awakening. >> one of the commander i talked to was expressing the hope that the united states would talk to him. it is an act of desperation to side with isis for them. but they feel they had no other opportunity. they hope that they don't become targeted, lumped in with isis. that's their fear, because they know what that would mean.
it would necessarily drive them further away from the united states, make them greater enemies of the united states, and greater and a much harder to solve the issues of iraq. so there is that hope that they can be peeled away. the possibility is this. who knows what exact price they're going to want for that. >> jim acosta, again, at the white house, president obama really saying look, it's not the u.s. role to tell iraq or tell iraqis who should lead their country. but he couldn't have made it any clearer, they have no confidence in nuri al maliki's ability to reach out to these sunni groups, to reach out to the kurds where or with a damon, and also stressing that a political solution has got to be the way to move iraq forward and unify iraq. >> that's right. the president, anderson, blamed much of the violence in iraq on nuri al maliki, saying the prime minister has failed to unite those rival factions that are really tearing iraq apart. but the president is not making u.s. support for iraq contingent upon maliki stepping down. you saw some reports than
earlier this week, that u.s. assistance would only take place if maliki were to step down. the president put an end to that today saying it's not the job of the u.s. to choose iraqi leaders. but at the same time a call that the administration had with reporters at the white house, senior administration officials were making it pretty darn clear that they don't mind if nuri al maliki leaves the scene so long as it's part of the iraqi constitutional process, anderson. >> and jim sciutto, it seems clear that the white house believes there is some time, that the huge forward momentum that isis and their sunni supporters had this last week has certainly slowed as kind of the easiest targets in the most sunni controlled areas are already under isis control or being tested by isis. do we have a sense, or do you have a sense of the timeline the white house sees for getting these advisers into a position
in iraq? >> these advisers, from what we know, are going to be coming from forces already staged in the region, stationed in the region. so they can be in there very quickly. in fact, the first teams we're told going in in the next 24 hours. then you have to deploy them, forward deploy them out to the headquarters of these iraqi battalions where they're going to be based. as to when those air strikes are launched as a matter of operational security, the white house is not going to say when they're going to do that. but you are right. and we have been hearing this, i've been hearing this from intelligence officials all week. as you say that they felt that baghdad and the shia dominated areas in the south were not as vulnerable because of the shiite population there's, because the shiite militia is more loyal to the iraqi government, more likely to fight back against largely sunni forces. and that does give them some time. the trouble is i'm told by the same intelligence officials that without a comprehensive counter-offensive from iraqi forces now with u.s. help, it's going to be very difficult and
take time to wrest back control of those areas in the north and west that have been taken over by isis and their sunni allies. >> very difficult, if not impossible at this point, to say the least. arwa damon, what are you hearing from the fighters you've been spending time with. do they feel that i wouldn't say stalled would be a word for the isis forces right now. but do they feel the momentum has at least kind of stabilized or slowed? >> well, if you look at a lot of the front lines that are around the peshmurga controlled areas, they're not as active as they are moving further south toward the capital baghdad. what we're seeing up here is isis units trying to test the resolve of the peshmurga. there will be quick attacks that last hours at some times, mortar round lobbed. but there is no direct confrontation. the front line seems to be effectively holding up to a
certain degree. it's quite interesting when it comes to the capabilities of the iraqi security forces themselves. we were speaking with the governor of kirkuk, and he was saying look, the problem is that the americans basically trained what he was describing as a checkpoint army. the iraqi security forces are great at setting up checkpoints. you would have gone through this on numerous occasions in baghdad where there is all sorts of traffic jams that are created by this. but barring that, barring setting up these checkpoints and conducting whatever searches they're trying to conduct of the various vehicles going through there, these are not forces that are necessarily capable nor do they have the confidence of the population when it comes to carrying out the kind of operation that is necessary at this stage in what is happening in the country, anderson. >> all right. arwa, stick around. nic robertson as well. jim acosta, thank you. jim sciutto as well. quick reminder. set your dvr so you can watch "ac 360" whenever you want."
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what began as a sunni aweakening in al anbar province has now spread to other parts of iraq to encourage local tribesmen against al qaeda, the u.s. military is now paying local sheiks to provide security in their areas. a gunman like this can earn up to $10 a day for his services. the next step is to have young men like this join the iraqi police. but for that the u.s. military needs the cooperation of the shia dominated government in baghdad. that was reporting from here back in 2007. what is interesting about that, of course, after the u.s. left nour mohammadi stopped paying a lot of those groups, and some of those groups are now involved in the fight yet again against the
central government here. and those are some of the groups the u.s. is hoping to kind of reach out to, get them back on board. and that's why they want a leader here, a government here that is willing to reach out to sunni groups. i want to continue to talk about the breaking news tonight. nic robertson is here. arwa damon as well in erbil. the breaking news tonight. isis forces apparently now having occupied an old chemical weapons facility from saddam's days. nic robertson was actually there. we actually have some of the video that you shot. what year was this that you were there? >> 2002. and it had already been bombed by coalition forces back in 1991. and weapons inspectors, u.n. weapons inspectors had been there in the mid-90s. so when i was there, i was writing about these rusting rows of chemical weapons equipment. again, i was back there with the u.n. weapons inspectors. it must have been an important site because that was the seventh site they visited after they arrived. they went to a lot of sites.
so it was a key one. this was the birthplace of saddam hussein's chemical weapons, the heart of his chemical weapons facility. it was at its maximum production in the 80s when iraq was at war with iran. it had been sort of idled after that. again, bombed in '91. when was there you had this desert site, 15 square mile, bunkers. a semi secure site. some places the wire around the outside was torn down. >> you raised the question tonight before we were on air which is a good one, if isis forces are there, if they have some of the former baath party members with them or former sunni militias or former saddam forces who know about this facility, does that add a whole wrinkle into this? >> you to think to that end. part of the strategic planning that i understand for the tribal leaders that i've talked to who are fighting there right now is that they are using the strategic planning of the former baath party generals and officers in the army.
if they're there right now, you've got to believe there is some part of design in that. what is their plan to use it? for those baath party officers from the old iraqi army, yeah, they will know the layout there. they will know what equipment is there. and some of them even if they can utilize this. >> arwa, do we really have a good sense or does the united states at this point have good intelligence on how many other groups are now fighting with isis forces? how many other sunni groups or sunni awakening groups or baath party groups are fighting? >> in terms of an exact number at this stage, anderson, no. it's still a murky picture. and speaking to people who are connected to these various other sunni fighting forces, you know, they'll throw a couple familiar names. the former baathists, other various sunni insurgent groups that were quite prominent during the iraqi invasion of iraq. the situation is so polarized that even if some of these
former sunni groups are not directly involved in the fight, they are at the very least allowing it to happen. the sunnis who do not want to see an organization like isis take over, who do not want to see the creation of an islamic caliphate at this stage feel they have no other choice but to make their bed with the devil. the devil of course being isis. but even amongst their ranks, there are thoughs who disagree with that perspective. no one at this stage is feeling as if they have the clout or the capacity to even begin to stand up to isis and try to even bring about a stop to what is happening. one individual who we have been speaking to is fairly close to the other sunni insurgent groups was saying that, look, we can't fight on two fronts. we can't fight the shia dominated government in baghdad and isis at the same time. >> arwa damon, thank you so much. stay safe. and nic robertson as well. i appreciate your help. joining me now is former retired
general mark kurtling. thank you so much for being with us. i'm interested in your perspective. the 300 noncombat advisers that are being sent into iraq, the times i've worked with green berets and rangers, i'm always impressed by the complexity of the task they are assigned to do. the kind of work okay multiple fronts. what do you see as their key objective this time around here? >> well, i'll open the aperture a little bit, anderson, and say that these guys are going to provide a lot more than a lot of people are talking about right now. they're certainly going to provide not only support for the iraqi security forces. that's what everyone is thinking about now, but they're going to provide clarity to what is going on over there. i'm listening to your reports with nic and arwa, and they're talking about the numerous tribes and terrorist groups in the north. and it brings back some memories when she talks about the groups
and the 127 tribes that we once counted in the northern region. but those special forces and special operating forces are going to provide clarity as to what is going on. they're also going to have very good communication packages. so they're going to be able to report not only to their iraqi brothers in the fight, but they're going to report back to our national security apparatus to tell them what is going on. they're going to provide very good intelligence. they're going to provide support to the iraqi forces in whatever groups they're assigned by. and it's usually a 12-person detachment. but they're also going to provide psychological support for the operation. >> and that's got to be incredibly important, just for a morale boost to have the presence of highly trained operators from the united states amidst these iraqi forces. that seems like one of the issues here. i don't know if it's in the officer corps or below, but you have iraqis who not even engaged
in a firefight, but before isis even showed up, taking off their weapons, throwing down -- taking off their uniforms, throwing down their gun. >> right. >> a morale boost, you can't underestimate how important that could be. >> it is. and anderson, i was listening to your report earlier this afternoon when you had talked to some of the folks on the street that said hey, we don't need the americans here. i tell you, that was also prevalent when i was there during my last tour of over three years in that country. and what is interesting is you hear that from the people on the street. they will tell you, hey, we don't really need americans. we are gad to go. but when you talk to the iraqi security forces, they know the capabilities we provide with the intelligence contacts, with the capabilities to synergize the various elements of the battlefield. so i think the iraqi security forces that are beleaguered right now who see us pushing the government as well as the army, they're very happy to have this small number of special forces and special operating forces in the area. and again, i emphasize not only
the clarity and the intelligence, but the communication packages and the ability to reach back with the things our special forces bring with them from the battlefield. >> yeah, you know, it's interesting that you point that out. i will say everybody who has said that to me is like a 22-year-old kid who has no military experience, no experience with the u.s. military, and in truth doesn't really know what they're talking about. they're talking from a position of pride and national pride. but when you talk to iraqi personnel, military personnel who have worked one-on-one with green berets, it's a completely different tune, just as you said. lieutenant general mark hertling, i appreciate you being on. thank you so much. >> thank you, anderson. up next, nuri al maliki, the man now being blamed for the sunni backlash that is fueling the current crisis. does iraq's prime minister need to step down? is there a way for that to happen without the u.s. trying to force to it happen? we'll talk about that, plus i'll talk to richard clark. he is the former top counterterrorism official who says his warnings about al qaeda
were ignored before 9/11. he was against the iraq war. now he says we are seeing exactly why. we'll talk to him ahead. at od, whatever business you're in, that's the business we're in with premium service like one of the best on-time delivery records and a low claims ratio, we do whatever it takes to make your business our business. od. helping the world keep promises.
why pay more for less? call today for a low price on speeds up to 150mbps. and find out more about our two-year price guarantee. comcast business. built for business. the airport road used to be among the most dangerous roads in the world. there were a lot of suicide bomb, sniper attacks. they say it's much safer now. we'll see. >> that road is better now. it's not so great at night, but it's definitely better now. i did that report in december 2005. a few months later, iraq's prime minister nuri al maliki took office. tonight he shows no signs of stepping down, certainly. in recent parliamentary
elections, you remember his alliance won the most votes. under iraq's constitution, he must now form a new government. publicly the white house hasn't said that maliki should absolutely resign. they say it's up to the iraqi people, though they have been critical of his divisive policies. some u.s. lawmakers are saying point-blank he's got to go. cnn's international reporter christiane amanpour joins me along with he covered iraq for a lot of years for "time" magazine. christiane, listening to the president, there seems to be no support for nuri al maliki at this point by the white house. and clearly the white house believes that there needs to be political change here in iraq. >> i think that's really clear. the president has made that pretty clear, going also to say it's not up to the united states to choose who is the government of iraq. but nonetheless, they have lost faith in nuri al maliki, even the president's former secretary of state hillary clinton basically told me that iraqis need to get rid of maliki. now here is the issue whom. would be the alternatives? we're hearing names floated. one of the senior sunni names
we're hearing floated, and also we're hearing the name of ahmed chalabi, a shiite being floated. if you remember, he was the name associated most with helping to pull the u.s. into that war. so see how far things have come. people don't quite know who to get into power. but one of the things i'm being told also is that the shiites are genuinely terrified still. they're very afraid that what is going to happen now is that the sunnis might think that they can again take over. >> bobby, you've worked in iraq for a long, long time. you've known maliki for a long time. do you have any belief that he is the kind of leader who can bring the country together, who can reach out to sunnis, reach out to kurds? >> no, anderson. he's had plenty of opportunities to do that. and he is doing none of it. he hasn't even been doing this in the last 72 hours when the pressure on him has been so great to do so. and it is clear that his policies are not succeeding. he hasn't showed any kind of flexibilities. at all.
i've known him for a long time. i first met him long before he was even considered prime ministerial candidate. and even back then he was very much a shiite partisan, and his policies in government have remained consistently pro-shiite and anti-everybody else. >> bobby, to christiane's point, to hear ahmed chalabi, it's amazing to hear his name back in mix. i remember a time, i think it was 2004 u.s. troops almost arrested him for one of his aides giving information to iran, wasn't it? >> if ahmed chalabi is a solution to the problem, then your country is in far greater trouble than you think. i think if you run this thing down, i think you find the person who is suggest his name is ahmed chalabi. nobody in baghdad i have spoken to in the last 4 hours thinks of him as a serious or viable candidate. it is a sizable elite in iraq, and just as a few years ago,
nobody even had hurried the name nuri al maliki, he came out of nowhere, i would not rule out the possibility of something whose name we are not considering right now emerging from this confusion as a possible candidate. >> what is important is to try and have some kind of a national coalition government. >> and christiane, it is important to point out there. is a constitutional process here should maliki choose to abide by it. they are supposed to be working toward forming a new government and choosing a prime minister this the next two weeks. that's not something the white house has been forcing. that's the constitutional process here. >> that's right. and the president mentioned it again that these elections have happened. they were certified. maliki did get the most votes, and they need to form a government. they need to get the system under way. and that has not happened yet. so here is the thing. you've got several options here. you got partition, you know, the freezing of the lines as they are right now, with the terrorist group in charge of one part of iraq, or if this
political thing doesn't work out, you've got a possibility that iran might see that it has to come in and save the shiites. or the best case scenario, and if john kerry can do this, who has been dispatched to the region this week, and it's a very big if, and it's a very heavy lift is to get the u.s., iran, saudi arabia, the gulfis, all who have different ideas about what should happen in iraq to try to use their influence to make what bobby was saying sort of a governing coalition. see if you can get a coalition or a leadership group of national unity to try to keep iraq unified and democratic. >> christiane amanpour, thanks very much. bobby ghosh as well. >> any time. thank you. >> all the talk about geopolitics and the machinations of politicians, it's important to just pause for a moment and remember what has happened here over the last week, and the death toll and the deaths of people whose names we won't even
remember or don't even know i should say whose stories we will never know. but people who are trying to live good and decent lives, trying to raise their children, just trying to live in peace who ended up being killed. take a look at the scene in a northern shia town today as families grieve 31 people killed in an assault by isis. townspeople say isis fighters attacked three villages with mortars and then burned houses, bodies of the victims were brought to a mosque for prayers before being buried. coming up, the counterterrorism czar who warned the bush administration about al qaeda before the september 11th attacks joins me. we're going to hear what richard clark thinks about isis, whether the u.s. should have gotten involved in iraq in the first place and whether they should do it again. he'll also have comments about dick cheney's comments. also ahead, how dozens of cdc employees in atlanta in the united states may have been exposed to anthrax, and what happens to them now. we'll speak with dr. sanjay gupta. nineteen years ago, we thought,
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if you're a regular news consumer, you probably know the name richard clark. he was the anti-terror adviser in the bush administration and raised a red flag about threat from al qaeda before 9/11 and has blasted the president for ignoring warnings. richard clarke is now author of the book "stinger drone." i spoke to him earlier today. richard, what do you see in iraq right now? >> we should really have minimal interests. the major interest is preventing an al qaeda base or an al qaeda sanctuary. the isis as we call it are an al qaeda branch. they're now probably the most powerful of the al qaeda branches in the world, certainly after they have ripped off all of this money from the banks in northern iraq. and so our goal has to be to split the sunni alliance so that the rest of the sunnis, the people we used to deal with, deal with us again and help us go after al qaeda.
now, the reason that our friends in the sunni alliance have turned against the government in baghdad is the government in baghdad is basically been an iranian stooge and has pursued anti-sunni policies. >> and to do that, is it essential that nuri al maliki has to leave? >> i think it is. i think al maliki, despite all of our warnings and all of our efforts to reach out to the sunnis and the kurds, to have a real government of national reconciliation, he has consistently refused, and he has been aggressively going after the sunnis. i think he has to go. i don't see any way that the sunnis will have a government of national reconciliation as long as maliki is involved. >> i've heard comments you have made recently sort of skeptical of america's ability to effect change in a lot of places. do you think the united states can effect change here? >> well, anderson, we spent a
trillion dollars. we had 4700 americans die and over 50,000 americans seriously wounded in order to try to effect change in iraq. and it didn't work. so we have to be very careful about thinking we can effect change. that having been said, we should try in limited ways through intelligence means, through diplomatic means, maybe through very limited use of our military. we really have to understand what our essential interests are. and they're not to bring democracy to iraq. they're not to have iraq be some nice functioning government. >> in a recent interview, you laid the blame for the current situation on the bush administration for intervening in iraq back i think in 2003. you say, i quote, i don't want the say i told you so, but this was for seen. do you see what we're seeing now is traced to that movement? i talked to tony blair who said it's all about syria and all about maliki, not back what
happened in 2003 and subsequently. >> anderson, in 1991, at the end of the first gulf war, i sat in the white house with then leadership of secretary of defense cheney and brent scowcroft and others, and we comp lated whether or not to go into iraq and march to baghdad. and then secretary cheney and brent scowcroft and others said if you intervene in iraq, it will break into pieces, into sunni and kurdish and shia pieces and we'll never be able to put it back together again. they were right. and when the next president bush contemplated in 2003 going into iraq, some of us said that again. if you invade iraq, it will break into three pieces as soon as you leave. and that's essentially what has happened. and we should never have gone in the first place. and the situation we face now is directly because we went in. >> so when you heard dick
cheney's recent editorial, his writing along with his daughter, i was curious to hear your response to his really blistering attack on the obama administration and their foreign policy. >> dick cheney is a discredited hypocrite. he knew in 1991 that it was a mistake to go in. and that was the only time he has ever been right about iraq. why anybody would listen to dick cheney on iraq is beyond me. >> you also said at one point, which i found interesting is what we're seeing essentially is al qaeda fighting iran. something you said isn't necessarily a bad thing. can you explain that? >> well, the two forces that are really on the ground, both of which are enemies of the united states are fighting each other. and that's al qaeda in there, isis, or daish incarnation on the one hand. and they're fighting a regime backed by iran with iranian special forces advisers already on the ground. you know, if we could get the
iranian special forces to fight al qaeda, that would be fine for u.s. international interests. the fight they're fighting each other isn't entirely bad. >> richard clarke, i appreciate you being on. >> thank you, anderson. >> you heard richard use the term daish. daish is the word used to describe isis. it's the word used here in iraq. a lot more ated including potential cases of anthrax back home. that's right, anthrax. when you learn where exactly the stuff got loose and how, you're going to be surprised, and maybe not sleep too well either. details ahead. (mother vo) when i was pregnant...
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disturbing news today that some of the world's best researchers at one of america's top research labs may have been exposed to a deadly germ. the germ in question is anthrax. 13 years ago, deliberate anthrax attack killed five people, you may remember. this time what happened at the centers for disease control and prevention in atlanta was accidental. chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta spent a lot of hours inside cdc labs. he joins us tonight. sanjay, how did this happen? >> well, you know, simply put, i think this was a mess-up either
by a individual or an group of individuals. this thing should not happen. we're talking about some of the most dangerous pathogens that really exist. and it was being studied in a laboratory that is designed to do that. they were transporting it from one particular biosafety laboratory that had pretty stringent regulations to a lower level biosafety laboratory. what was supposed to happen is they were supposed to deactivate or inactivate the bacteria before they transferred it, and they were supposed to wait 48 hours to make sure the bacteria were in fact inactivated. neither one of those steps seemed to happen, anderson. the inactivation process did not work. they did not wait the 48 hours. so this bacteria ended up in this other lab where people thought it was essentially dead, and it wasn't. and so they may have been exposed. >> it's really scary. if someone has been exposed, what are the symptoms? >> well, if -- there is three different types of anthrax. the inhalational, the stuff you breathe is the worst one and
what they're particularly concerned about. it can start off vague. you can have flu-like symptoms. but the anthrax spores get into the lungs and eventually cause significant problems with breathing. someone can develop more widespread infections throughout the body. and look, this is deadly stuff. the last time we talked about this in a significant way was back in 2001. but you remember back then we talked about mortality rates that could be as high as 80 to 90%. people died back then, you remember, anderson, because of those anthrax spores that were transmitted through the mail. >> and the people who have been exposed, they're already being treated, right? >> i talked to the officials over there. what they said was there were 75 people who they are concerned about. they are either working in that lower biosafety lab where the live bacteria came, or they may have been walking in the hallways outside the laboratory. but for whatever reason, they were deemed as potentially being exposed. they are offered antibiotics, ciprofloxin is the antibiotic.
and they're offered for 60 days, two months. they're not mandated to take it, although i think most people probably would. they're also offered the anthrax vaccine. typically vaccines are something given before an infection, but in this case they may have some benefit to give it even now after an exposure. >> wow. it's unbelievable. sanjay, thanks very much. >> you got it. any time. be safe. >> scary stuff. up next, why interrogators don't expect to have it easy with the suspected mastermind on the attack in benghazi. plus hear one recording next. in the first 3 months after i opened my account. and i earn 5 times the rewards on internet, phone services and at office supply stores. with ink plus i can choose how to redeem my points. travel, gift cards, even cash back. and my rewards points won't expire. so you can make owning a business even more rewarding. ink from chase. so you can.
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hey, welcome back. let's check in with susan hendricks with a 360 bulletin. susan? >> anderson, a law enforcement official says interrogators don't expect to have an easy time getting information out of ahmed abu khatallah, suspected mastermind of the 2012 attack of the u.s. mission in benghazi is now being held on a u.s. warship. bringing him to the u.s. by sea rather than by air will give fbi interrogators more time to question him. well, investigators say the truck that rear-ended comedian tracy morgan's limo was speeding 20 miles per hour over the limit, and the driver was approaching federal limits on how long he could be behind the wheel. tracy morgan suffered broken ribs, a broken nose, and a broken leg. one person died in that limo. a judge today heard audiotapes of intimidating voice mails that donald sterling left for doctors who certified him as mentally incapacitated. here is one of the records. >> incompetent? you're incompetent you [ bleep ]
doctor. i'm going to get you fired from ucla because you're nothing but a tramp. >> and there you have it. the judge denied shelly sterling's request from contacting the doctors and other witnesses in the couple's court battle over the los angeles clippers. the fight continues. anderson? >> susan, thanks very much. that does it for us here tonight in baghdad. the cnn original series "the sixties" starts now. it is a mixture of pretty scenery, an ugly event. vietnam reports today of the bloodiest fighting in almost a year. >> we will not surrender, and we will not retreat. >> think you can win? i know we can win. >> they are being killed. >> stop this bloody aggression. >> we're in the middle. ♪